Modelling the spatial-temporal movement of tourists

Xia, J 2007, Modelling the spatial-temporal movement of tourists, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Modelling the spatial-temporal movement of tourists
Author(s) Xia, J
Year 2007
Abstract Tourism is one of the most rapidly developing industries in the world. The study of spatio-temporal movement models of tourists are undertaken in variety of disciplines such as tourism, geography, mathematics, economics and artificial intelligence. Knowledge from these different fields has been difficult to integrate because tourist movement research has been conducted at different spatial and temporal scales. This thesis establishes a methodology for modelling the spatial-temporal movement of tourists and defines the spatial-temporal movement of tourists at both the macro and micro level.

At the macro level, the sequence of tourist movements is modelled and the trend for tourist movements is predicted based on Markov Chain theory (MC). Log-linear models are then adopted to test the significance of the movement patterns of tourists. Tourism market segmentation based on the significant movement patterns of tourists is implemented using the EM (Expectation-Maximisation) algorithm. At the micro level, this thesis investigates the wayfinding decision-making processes of tourists. Four wayfinding models are developed and the relationships between the roles of landmarks and wayfinding decision-making are also discussed for each type of the wayfinding processes. The transition of a tourist movement between the macro and micro levels was examined based on the spatio-temporal zooming theory.

A case study of Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia is undertaken to implement and evaluate the tourist movement models established in this thesis. Two surveys were conducted on Phillip Island to collect the macro and micro level movement data of tourists. As results show particular groups of tourists travelling with the same movement patterns have unique characteristics such as age and travel behaviours such as mode of transport. Effective tour packages can be designed based on significant movement patterns and the corresponding target markets. Tourists with various age groups, residency, gender and different levels of familiarity with physical environment have different wayfinding behaviours.

The results of this study have been applied to tourism management on Phillip Island and the novel methods developed in this thesis have proved to be useful in improving park facilities and services provided to tourists, in designing tour packages for tourism market promotion and in understanding tourist wayfinding behaviours.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
Keyword(s) Tourism -- Data processing
Tourism -- Management
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